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Miren Vizcaino, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS)
Delft University of Technology,
Room 2.18

Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
Tel. + 31 (0)15 27 85 992
M.Vizcaino ATSIGN

PhD position available to model the Greenland ice sheet with CESM-CISM



Research interest


Main processes of ice sheet-climate-solid earth interaction, from Masson-Delmotte et al. (2013), in last IPCC report AR5.


Ice sheets are a key interactive component of the Earth System. At present, they are losing mass at an increasing pace, becoming a main contributor to sea level rise. In the past, they were a key player of climate change.

However, ice sheets are not yet standard components of the models used for future climate projections.

My work aims to advance the inclusion of ice sheets as a new and indispensable component of Earth System Models.

In addition, I collaborate with my colleagues of GRS on cryosphere observation and the investigation of coupled ice-sheet/climate/solid-Earth dynamics.


Research methods


Modeling ice-sheet/climate interaction requires the coupling of global climate, surface processes (e.g., melt, albedo), and ice flow. This coupling is very challenging, due to model resolution constrains, lack of observations (e.g. basal conditions), lack of appropriate snow models over the ice sheets, and climate model biases, among others. These challenges are recent progress in the field are reviewed in this article. 

I have coupled ice sheet models and Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) in several Earth System Models.

In 2013, I presented with my collaborators the first realistic simulation of ice sheet surface processes with a global climate model.




Please check




2001-2006          PhD in Earth Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and University of Hamburg, Germany

Š      Alumni,  International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling


1995-2001          Licenciada”, Physics major, Specialization in Atmospheric Physics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain


Current position

2013 –       Assistant Professor (tenure-track), GRS Department, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


Previous positions

2011 – 2013       Postdoctoral Researcher, “Ice and Climate” group, IMAU, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

2006 – 2011       Postdoctoral Researcher, Dep. of Geography, University of California at Berkeley, USA


Fellowships and grants

2013 2018        Delft Technology Fellowship, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

2011-2013           International Incoming Marie Curie Fellowship, FP7, EU. Project: “FutGreenlandice

2009 2011       Small Grant for Exploratory Research, National Science Foundation, USA



2016/17   At Delft University of Technology:

Š      CIE4602 Ice, snow and climate change: observations and modelling

Š      CIE4510 Climate change: science and ethics


May 2011 - Lecturer of the First Summer School on ice sheets and glaciers from the Nordic Center of Excellence SVALI, May 2011.

International activities and memberships

Š      Contributing author to the Chapter on Sea Level of the last IPCC report AR5.

Š      Co-chair, Land Ice Working Group of the CESM

Š      Member, American and European Geophysical Unions

Š      Referee, Journal of Climate, Climate Dynamics, Geophysical Research Letters, Nature Communications, Journal of Geophysical Research, Climate of the Past, The Cryosphere, Annals of Glaciology and Journal of Glaciology.




Š     I was awarded an ERC Starting Grant 2015, for the project “CoupledIceClim

Š     I was interviewed in Summer 2016 by Julia Rosen for Science News regarding a Cold War military base excavated in the Greenland ice sheet

Š     I have an opening for a PhD position on modeling the Future Greenland Ice Sheet coupled to the Climate System with CESM-CISM









Online in Geophysical Research Letters (accepted on 23-04-2015):


Coupled simulations of Greenland ice sheet and climate change up to AD 2300


These are the first coupled Greenland ice sheet model and AOGCM under RCP/ECP forcing. Results show strong coupling between surface mass balance, elevation and ice flow, and a wide ensemble spread in the simulated present-day mass trends as a result of climate variability. 





Our paper  The pattern of anthropogenic signal emergence in Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance”, is published in GRL, and


featured as Editor’s choice in the Sep 5th issue of Science






Description: over image for Vol. 5 Issue 3

Review article:

Vizcaino, M. (2014), Ice sheets as interactive components of Earth System Models: progress and challenges. WIREs Clim Change. doi: 10.1002/wcc.285

Please contact me if you would like a copy (M.Vizcaino ATSIGN


The last IPCC report AR5 was published online in its final version in Jan 2014.

My work on the multi-century evolution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and its impact on the climate system appears as a key reference of the Chapter 13 on Sea Level, being cited in 22 places in the text (17 for first author publications).





I participated in the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Polar and Land Ice Working Groups of the Community Earth System Model in Boulder, Colorado (USA), in Jan 2014. You can have a look at my presentation and/or read the summary.



Published in 2014 in GRL:


Fyke, J. G., M. Vizcaíno, W. Lipscomb, and S. Price (2014), Future climate warming increases Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance variability, Geophysical Research Letters, 41(2), 470-475, doi: 10.1002/2013gl058172.


We published in the
Special Collection of CESM of the Journal of Climate the first realistic simulation of ice sheet surface processes with a global climate model:

1)   Model description

2)   Model evaluation & 1850-2005 results

3)   21st century projections.

19th Oct 2013- Symposium
TU Delft Climate Institute
"The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets: present, future and unknowns"

More info
here and in this article from Delta
12th Sep 2013 -
GRS Seminar
"Ice sheets as the new component in Earth System Models", Miren Vizcaino